Biden falsely claims the US does not have troops in Syria
Biden defends Afghanistan withdrawal amid criticism, crisis
Ari Fleischer, Mara Liasson and Jason Riley joins ‘Special Report’ to discuss the president’s exit strategy, reaction to the Taliban takeover
President Biden falsely claimed that the U.S. doesn’t have military deployed to Syria during an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos Wednesday night, his first TV interview since the Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan.
Biden defended himself against fierce criticism for his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and the country’s subsequent fall to the Taliban this month. He pointed to Syria and East Africa as areas where Islamic terrorists pose a greater threat to Americans than Afghanistan, and yet the U.S. does not have a sizable military presence in those areas.
“Al Qaeda, ISIS, they metastasize,” the president said. “There’s a significantly greater threat to the United States from Syria. There’s a significantly greater threat from East Africa. There’s significant greater threat to other places in the world than it is from the mountains of Afghanistan. And we have maintained the ability to have an overriding capability to take them out.
“We don’t have military in Syria to make sure that we’re gonna be protected,” he said, adding that he’s “confident we’re gonna have the overriding capability” in Afghanistan as well.
The U.S., in fact, currently has roughly 900 troops deployed to Syria. A White House official told Fox News that those are not combat troops and are only there for “advising and capacity-building.”
It’s not the first similar misstep by the president. The White House’s list of talking points sent this week to Democrats defending his handling of Afghanistan claimed there are no “boots on the ground” in Syria.
The U.S. troops in Syria are there to support the Syrian Democratic Forces fighting the Islamic State terrorist group, a role that has largely remained unchanged since the American-led intervention in 2014, a senior Biden administration official told Politico last month.
“I don’t anticipate any changes right now to the mission or the footprint in Syria,” the official told the outlet, speaking on condition of anonymity. “In Syria, we’re supporting Syrian Democratic Forces in their fight against ISIS,” the official said. “That’s been quite successful, and that’s something that we’ll continue.”
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